Spain have such an embarrassment of riches that the likes of Jesé Rodriguéz, Isco, Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Morata are in the U-21s. Where does the production line end?
Neutrals in Spain should be very glad indeed that Diego Simeone whips his 'team of men' into a frenzy because that means La Liga remains a three-horse race...
This summer the Premier League was robbed of a great opportunity for excitement and outrage as Diego Costa's proposed move to Liverpool failed to transpire. Had the transfer come to pass then the world would have been blessed with an Anfield forward line of an occasionally violent, hated-by-opposition fans, politically incorrect, frequently cheating but incredibly talented footballer lining up alongside Luis Suarez.
Diego Costa has always had a bit of a reputation of one sort or another in Spain, but never really for scoring goals. This reputation was largely based around diving, winding up opposition players, getting sent off, throwing elbows, kicking chairs at policeman and exasperating a series of coaches who tried and failed to drag undoubted talent out of a fury-beast of a footballer.
However, this season, the Brazilian has popped up with eight league goals - the same as Leo Messi - and just two less than his tallies in the past two seasons with the Rojiblancos and Rayo Vallecano. Whilst David Villa was expected to be the player who picked up the goalscoring duties from the departed Falcao, it is Diego Costa who is leading Atlético's charge at the start of the season, a run that has produced a remarkable nine wins from nine in Spain and Europe.
It was Costa who scored the winning goal in the Santiago Bernabeu last weekend to put a creamy cap on a record-breaking start to the season for Atletico. "Diego's limits is where he ends up stopping," said Diego Simeone of a forward who is the embodiment of the manager's philosophy - commitment, energy, aggression and the willingness to get in the face of opponents in a very literal sense, as Real Madrid goalkeeper, Diego López, discovered on Saturday.
Although only on the brink of turning 25, Costa is a much-travelled footballer having been loaned by Atlético Madrid to five different clubs since arriving back in 2007. A solid year as a supporting actor to Falcao won the forward a lot of credit, despite being a disciplinary liability. Nevertheless, the striker has found the perfect mentor in Simeone, a figure who understands what it is to possess a burning inner rage on the pitch, but is teaching Costa how to channel it. Costa is a becoming a player that all opposition supporters (and players) truly hate but would love to have on their side.
Indeed, the Spanish national federation are also looking at the possibility of bringing the Brazilian into their fold with the striker having been overlooked for his native country's latest squad. The naturalised striker has reportedly told Vicente Del Bosque that he would like to be considered for selection for the World Champions. This may have been possible in the upcoming clashes against Belarus and Georgia, but a bureaucratic hold-up is set to get in the way.
The news is a remarkable turnaround for a player previously known for diving and tantrums. It is also a remarkable turnaround for Spain, which looks set to pull a rabbit out of a hat by fielding a player that will add elbows and attitude to the philosophy of tiki-taka.
Costa's immediate challenge is a home clash this weekend against a struggling Celta Vigo, with Atlético hoping to quietly go about their business of winning all their matches, as the media focus in Spain remains firmly on the troubles at Real Madrid. If previous games so far this season are any indication of how Costa will perform, we can expect to see a few raking tackles, a bit of a shove, the odd insult and a couple of goals to boot.
Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter